Chapter 13 Bankruptcy FAQ
Bankruptcy Attorney in Portland, Oregon
Dealing with overwhelming debts can often be frustrating, and to get a fresh start, filing for bankruptcy can be your best option. In the United States Bankruptcy code, there are various types of bankruptcy available for people and families. If you are a debtor, choosing the best type of bankruptcy is a crucial decision. While it is not required to have a bankruptcy lawyer, having such is certainly a wise decision.
By nature, the bankruptcy process is complicated. It takes a skilled bankruptcy attorney to achieve the best possible results. If you or someone you know requires an affordable and quality legal representation, Michael D. O’Brien & Associates, P.C. is the best choice. Our primary goal is to educate you on the best options available and to devise an effective strategy for implementing solutions to any financial problems you may be experiencing. If you want to discuss your situation with us, contact us now!
Overview of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
A debtor who files a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition usually has a stable income and can repay some of the total debts owed. There are also some debtors who require more time to pay bills on time without fear of wage garnishment or a collection lawsuit. In contrast to Chapter 7 cases, where it is much quicker, Chapter 13 bankruptcy enables the debtor to restructure the bills over a period of 3-5 years or, in rare cases, pay less than what is owed. Chapter 13 bankruptcy also allows the debtors to retain all their properties, notwithstanding their value.
Apart from saving your home, Chapter 13 comes with a wide range of benefits. It allows you, as a debtor, to catch up on mortgage payments and prevent foreclosure. In cases when you have a second mortgage that is no longer protected by the equity in your property, you can legally eliminate it.
The Repayment Plan
The repayment plan is the proposal that you have to submit along with your bankruptcy papers. This should show the court judge how you will use your disposable income to pay all or some of your debts owed through the validity of your plan.
How much does bankruptcy cost?
The cost is broken into three components – a filing fee, some mandatory class fees, and the attorney fees. As to the attorney fee, like everything, the devil is in the details which is why we provide a free case evaluation so we can learn about your problem, identify your goals, and develop a strategy to achieve those goals. Find out how much a bankruptcy will cost you.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy FAQ
In this section, we will answer the most frequently asked questions in Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Oregon.
Is it required to have a bankruptcy lawyer with me?
The short answer is no, it is not required. However, the success of your bankruptcy petition will have a slim chance without the assistance of an experienced attorney. Generally speaking, it is highly recommended that an individual or family should consider consulting with a competent bankruptcy lawyer before filing a case.
Is Oregon Chapter 13 bankruptcy suitable for me?
It is important to remember that in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must prove your ability to pay some of your current and past-due debts over a period of 3-5 years. The most important aspect of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that it allows you to keep your valuable assets, particularly your vehicle or home. Almost always, these payments will be less than your monthly payments on your car loan or mortgage, with an additional payment to catch up on any missed payments.
How much will it cost to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Oregon?
The filing of a bankruptcy petition under Chapter 13 now costs $281, regardless of whether you are filing jointly as a married couple or as an individual. The bankruptcy court, however, may permit you to pay this fee through installments if you are unable to pay it in full.
How many copies should I file at the bankruptcy court?
- Petitions – The court will not require any further copies to be filed before it. However, it must be noted that you will be encouraged to secure personal copies of your records. If you wish to have a copy of your petition as well as a tapped date of filing, you have to produce an additional copy. This includes a self-addressed envelope with your mailing address.
- Motions – The court will not require any further copies to be filed before it. However, if a related document is filed within three business days, the filer must contact the judge’s chambers immediately by phone. Failure to do so may result in the document being deemed invalid.
Is discrimination possible when filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13?
No, discrimination should not be tolerated. It is stated under 11 U.S.C. sec. 525 that private employers and governmental units are prohibited from discriminating against debtors just because you filed for bankruptcy or failed to pay your debts. You should still enjoy your statutorily and constitutionally guaranteed rights.
Can I file Chapter 13 bankruptcy by myself if I’m married?
Of course. Keep in mind, however, that your spouse will still be liable for the joint debts. The benefit of filing jointly is that your exemptions can be doubled. If only one of you has dischargeable debts, or only one has debts, it is recommended that only one spouse file.
Debts Discharged in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can either pay your debts off or wipe them out. However, there are a few exceptions in the list.
Debts That Are Discharged
Generally, all types of debts, whether medical bills, credit card debts, or attorney fees, will be discharged together with personal loans and court judgments. Furthermore, you can also wipe out car loans and mortgage payments if you give the property back to the lender. These rules will apply in Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. However, there are debts that you can discharge in Chapter 13 that you cannot discharge in Chapter 7. Those are:
- Debts for maliciously or willfully destroying property
- Non Criminal penalties and government fines
- Tax debt
- Support-related debts being owed to an ex-spouse after separation agreement or divorce.
- Loan debt from retirement plan
- Non-dischargeable debts from the previous bankruptcy filing.
Debts That Are Not Discharged
Most filers are debt free after accomplishing their repayment plan. However, that’s not always the outcome. There are some debts that will survive in Chapter 13. These are:
- Unlisted debts from your bankruptcy forms
- Student loans
- Collateralized loans, such as mortgages if you retain the property.
- Debts you started to owe after filing your bankruptcy petition.
Call our Bankruptcy Attorney in Oregon Now!
The process of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, indeed, is complicated. The frequently asked questions in this article are just some of the thousands of questions we receive every day. We do not take these questions negatively; we appreciate every client who asks questions, especially complex ones. This allows us to extend our help to individuals who are struggling with debts.
P.C. Michael D. O’Brien & Associates is the bankruptcy law firm in Oregon that you need. We are committed to assisting you in resolving all of your debt problems. With over 20 years of experience in the field, you will gain the desired advantage by working with us. By providing a greater amount of empathy and personalizing our legal services, your debt problems will be handled effectively.